Where we are today.....
1 to 100 we are all aging! For the first time in history the number of people 65 years of age and older exceeds the number of people 15 years and younger. Advances in medicine and science are helping people to live 10 to 20 to 30 years longer than prior generations, but our culture which plays a significant role in molding attitudes and behavior has not kept up.
Every day for the next 19 years we will see 10,000 people a day turn 65 years of age. What this means is that our children are growing up in a world where there are more older people than younger, and most are totally unaware of this fact. They are also unaware of the social problems related to aging that they will have to deal with as they move into adulthood, problems that no generation has ever faced before.
These issues are compounded by the fact that people simply don't like to talk about aging. Over the years I have seen this time and time again. Most families have a very hard time bringing the subject up and talking about the wishes of parents, and today in a society that is communicating like crazy via cell phones and social networks this is still the case.
It is time that we take aging out of the closet and start talking about it. We need to be proactive about it and we need to involve not only adult children but grandchildren in our conversations so that they will not be fearful of the aging process. We need to help them to understand older adults and the only way this is going to happen is for older adults to put aside their fears and feelings about aging, and begin a meaningful dialogue with younger generations.
The World Health Agency says that a key strategy to facilitate the inclusion of older persons is to make our world more age-friendly.
An age-friendly world enables people of all ages to actively participate in community activities and treats everyone with respect, regardless of their age. It is a place that makes it easy for older people to stay connected to people that are important to them. And it helps people stay healthy and active even at the oldest ages and provides appropriate support to those who can no longer look after themselves.
Many cities and communities are already taking active steps towards becoming more age-friendly. What can you do to make the world and your community more "age-friendly"?
Summer Jackson, the author of this Age-Friendly Blog is an advocate for aging, and she insists that we all can live an unprecedented quality of life as we age. She believes that accomplishing this requires educating people of all ages, and involving people, organizations, and community leaders in a shared process. Read on. You will find her posts to be insightful, fun, and inspiring for people of all ages...
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